Lift all ‘illegal sanctions’ on Iran: China tells US

By Riyaz ul Khaliq

ANKARA (AA) – China on Friday called on the US administration to lift all “illegal sanctions” on Iran as it welcomed Washington’s return to the Iran nuclear deal.

“China welcomes the US return to the deal and urges it to lift all illegal sanctions on Iran and stop long-arm jurisdiction,” Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told a news conference in Beijing.

As reported by Chinese daily Global Times, Hua said China stands “fair” on the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal.

Beijing has been playing a constructive role, she said, “while the US stokes up tensions because it exited the JCPOA.”

China has recently amplified its call for removing sanctions on Iran imposed mainly by the US on Tehran’s oil exports due to its nuclear program.

Last month, China and Iran signed a much-anticipated 25-year strategic cooperation deal as part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

The $400 billion deal had been on anvil since January 2016 when Chinese President Xi Jinping became the first world leader to visit Iran following the signing of the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and the world powers.

When asked for a comment on US President Joe Biden’s infrastructure investment plan, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said it is “US’ internal affair.”

“China has started a new development strategy and will push opening-up so that more countries could amply share China’s development dividends,” Hua said.

Her comments came after Biden presented his $2 trillion plan to revitalize the US’ badly aged infrastructure, seeking a tax hike on corporations to cover its costs.

On rise in violence in neighboring Myanmar, she said: “China hopes varied political parties in Myanmar should initiate dialogue and consultation as soon as possible.”

“China is seriously concerned with the violence and bloodletting there, which hurts Myanmar people. Restraint should be held to avoid aggravating the situation,” the Chinese official added.

At least 536 people have so far been killed in the military crackdown against pro-civilian rule protesters since the Feb. 1 junta takeover in Myanmar, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a rights group based in Thailand.

The Burmese military soon after the coup announced a year-long state of emergency besides establishing its council to run the affairs of the Buddhist-majority country.